Tag: Divorce Lawyer

Who Gets the Pets in a Divorce?

What if you are getting a divorce and you and your spouse have a pet that you both love? Determining who gets custody or the pet in a divorce can be a devastating and emotional decision.

Determining Pet Custody

Laws are designed to protect the best interests of human children in divorce (allowing for shared custody, visitation, and alimony), the laws for pets are intended to benefit the owner instead. Under the law, pets are considered to be personal property, capable of human ownership and control. Courts working under that law only strictly have the authority to award a pet to one owner or the other. To grant shared custody or visitation of the couple’s pets would be exactly the same, in the eyes of the law, as having them trade their television back and forth from one week to the next. If one spouse adopted the pet before marriage, he or she will retain custody of the pet after the divorce. If the couple adopted the pet together after marriage a judge will consider the unique circumstances to make a decision. Things that may affect who gets the pet include…

  • Who will be living in the family home?  – That could be a big factor. Where each spouse will live after the divorce. Will both of you have a nice yard for the dog? The spouse with the larger home may be the judge’s preference to take the pet.
  • Will one spouse be moving abroad? – Local laws could affect whether you can bring a pet. If one spouse is moving, the judge will probably decide the pet is better suited to live with the other spouse.
  • Who was the pet’s true caretaker? –  Who walked the pet? Who took the pet to the vet? Who shopped for the pet’s food and supplies? Who cleaned up after the pet? He or she may be more likely to receive custody of the pet.
  • The pet’s best interest – The judge will choose the pet parent and home that is best suited for the pet.

Consider Splitting Dog Custody

Creative pet custody arrangements made by the two of you could be the best decision. Come to your divorce hearing with the decision made by the two of you about your pet’s custody. Be flexible and willing to compromise. Maybe one spouse would agree for the other spouse to have custody to keep the pet anytime that the custodial owner is out of town or has a busy week. Or maybe a friendly “dog share” that allows each plenty of time with their beloved pet, one month on, one month off. Of course, the dog must be an easygoing guy who does fine with all the back-and-forth. With a little foresight, and by keeping the best interests of your pet at heart, you can help make the difficult process of divorce a little bit more bearable for the whole family, and everyone will come out happier in the end.

Contact us (859-341-2500) for a Free Consultation!

About Grubbs & Landry

At Grubbs & Landry, PLLC, we are dedicated to personal and friendly service. We manage our practice in an ethical, cost-effective manner to best help our clients resolve their legal issues with the least expense possible. We pride ourselves in advocating for our client in divorce, child custody, and child support matters as well as other family law matters. We are active in prosecuting personal injury cases-recovering for the injuries our clients sustain due to the negligence of others. Additionally, we help our clients prepare for the future through the preparation of Wills, Power of Attorney and Living Will.
>> Learn More

Am I Responsible for My Spouse’s Debt in a Divorce?

Debt and divorce go hand-in-hand like peaches and cream, only it’s definitely not so sweet all the time. If you’ve been married for any length of time, it’s almost certain that you and your spouse have some marital debts. How these debts are handled during your divorce can make a big impact on your credit long after the two of you split. Once you say “I do” you are not only blending your life with your partner you are also commingling your finances, your property, and your debt plus the marriage debt such as mortgages, credit cards, car loans, and maybe even student loans. What happens to those debts when you and your spouse split up??

Assigning Debts in Property Division

Equitable distribution is a method of dividing property at the time of divorce. All states except for a handful follow the principles of equitable distribution. Equitable distribution does not mean “equal”; it means that assets acquired during a marriage are subject to distribution. Each spouse is responsible for the debts they incurred before and during the marriage. Even if it was acquired during the marriage the spouse will usually be given the debt they acquired during the marriage. If you and your spouse cannot decide who will be responsible for paying certain debts the judge can divide the debt on your behalf. In Kentucky, divorcing spouses are less likely to incur their spouse’s debt than in states that do not have equitable distribution. However, there is always a but you could still be saddled with your spouse’s debt.

Taking on Your Ex’s Debt

When two people apply for credit together, each is responsible for repaying the debt. This is true even if your divorce decree assigns the debt to your spouse. If an account goes into default due to non-payment, both spouses will be held liable since creditors are not bound by a divorce decree. On top of that, your credit score will drop, which will make getting credit in the future harder.

Protect Yourself From Your Spouse’s Debt

Consider closing joint accounts that were opened in both of your names, as well as removing your spouse as an authorized user on your own accounts. You can also ask the creditor to convert these accounts to individual accounts. Since creditors aren’t obligated to convert such accounts, you may need to apply for credit on an individual basis. The creditor will then extend or deny you credit based on your new application. Refinance the debt to ensure it is solely your spouse’s legal responsibility. If you had a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that would help.

Equitable distribution works from an assumption that the marriage is an economic unit and that what the spouse acquired during the marriage is subject to distribution — regardless of need.

Contact us (859-341-2500) for a Free Consultation!

About Grubbs & Landry

At Grubbs & Landry, PLLC, we are dedicated to personal and friendly service. We manage our practice in an ethical, cost-effective manner to best help our clients resolve their legal issues with the least expense possible. We pride ourselves in advocating for our client in divorce, child custody, and child support matters as well as other family law matters. We are active in prosecuting personal injury cases-recovering for the injuries our clients sustain due to the negligence of others. Additionally, we help our clients prepare for the future through the preparation of Wills, Power of Attorney and Living Will.
>> Learn More